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Daily Dodger in Review: The non-impact of Michael Young

November 24, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Infielder Michael Young batted .314 with four RBIs in 53 plate appearances last season for the Dodgers.
Infielder Michael Young batted .314 with four RBIs in 53 plate appearances… (Dustin Bradford / Getty…)

MICHAEL YOUNG, 37, infielder

Final 2013 stats: .279 batting average, eight homers, 46 RBI, .335 on-base and .395 slugging percentages (.314, 0, 4, .321, .392 in 53 plate appearances as a Dodger).

Contract status: A free agent.

The good: Did hit .314 in his one month with the Dodgers. Made one error in 21 games as a Dodger, playing second, third and a little short, though with very limited range. As much advertised, was great in the clubhouse despite diminished role.

The bad: The power game has slipped away. He’s failed to hit more than 11 home runs in each of the past three seasons. Had one hit in 10 at-bats in the playoffs.

What’s next: His days as an everyday starter appear over. If he wants to keep it going, he would have to be willing to sign on somewhere as a utility player, but at such a drastically reduced price (he made $16 million last year) it seems doubtful. Retirement appears the likely option.

The take: Young would have been a nice stretch-run pickup a couple years ago. Not so much in 2013.

It’s not that he was awful or anything, he just had marginal impact in any regard. He didn’t hurt the Dodgers in September, he just failed to help them much. They hit him in the middle of the lineup most of the time, and he only had the four runs batted in.

The available free agents at third this winter are remarkably slim, yet his name is seldom mentioned. He’s well behind Juan Uribe at this point. Suppose it’s not impossible he returns to the Dodgers as a utility player with Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker both moved on, but at his age and reduced defensive abilities, it’s hard to imagine.

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